Why? Why not. I’m not saying this is something I do or will do again. But there’s prebiotic value in the rind. So, we can and perhaps we should. And I did.
Check out the video to see what happened.
This recipe has gut health benefits with or without the watermelon rind because carrots, almonds, celery and onions are all prebiotic. The part of the watermelon we like to eat is also prebiotic. Just not nearly as much as the rind. The apple cider vinegar, yogurt and raw honey all contain some probiotics. All good for gut health.
To Ferment Watermelon Rinds:
1 1/2 cups watermelon rind, peeled and cut into thin 1 1/2 inch strips (watch the video)
1 1/2 cups non-chlorinated water (such as spring water or carbon-filtered)
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt (Himalayan salt)
1/2 litre or 1 litre (1 quart) clean Mason jar with lid
Make the brine by mixing the sea salt and water together. Stir to dissolve the salt. It does not all have to dissolve. Put the watermelon rinds into the mason jar. Pour in the brine and leave about one-inch empty space between the top of the rinds and water and the top of the jar. If using a bigger jar, then add more brine so there is not too much empty space. Put the lid on the jar and leave it to ferment for 14 days. For the first 3 or 4 days, turn the jar upside down for a few hours to make sure all pieces of rind get covered with brine as some pieces will naturally poke up about the top of the water. This provides time for the bacteria (Leuconostoc mesenteroides) to produce carbon dioxide and create a vacuum inside the jar and prevent mold from forming on the surface. After a few days, it is not longer necessary to do this.
Watermelon Rind Coleslaw Salad
1 1/2 cups fermented watermelon rind, drained and rinsed
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup loosely chopped almonds, lightly roasted
2 tbsp thin strips of red onion
1/2 to 1 cup watermelon chunks (remove seeds if seeded)
1-2 tbsp chopped dill (parsley or mint will also work in this recipe)
2 Romaine lettuce leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp full-fat yogurt
1 tsp raw honey
Pepper to taste.
Put the rinsed watermelon rind in a bowl with the carrots, almonds, red onion, watermelon and dill in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together and add to the bowl. Toss. Put in the refrigerator and chill for several hours. Add the Romaine lettuce just before serving. Salad will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Tip 1: Other fruits can be used instead of watermelon such a fresh peaches or apples. Be sure they are flavourful.
Tip 2: If you don’t have time to ferment the rinds, use sauerkraut instead or just use finely chopped, raw cabbage.